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Cu susul in jos / Edge of Africa

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Su Shi

118 vizualizări

Cape Town - Cape Agulhas 01- 10/04

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Primii colonisti care s-au aventurat in marile sudului au fost sedusi de frumusetea peninsulei Capului Bunei Sperante: flori nemaivazute, ierburi aromate, paduri, elefanti, hipopotami. Intre timp epoca pastorala a apus, populatiile indigene Khoi s-au risipit, turmele de animale salbatice au fost exterminate si o mare parte din vegetatia endemica a fost indepartata, pentru a face loc proiectelor industriale si rezidentiale. Dar orasul, unul dintre putinele din lume, ca Rio si Hong Kong, care se mai bucura de o pozitionare geografica de exceptie, si-a pastrat farmecul. Inca putin in Cape Town si am fi prins radacini. Pentru multi over-landeri Cape Town reprezinta finalul triumfal al calatoriei de-a lungul Africii. Pentru noi insa, cel mai important port de marfa din emisfera sudica a fost doar baza logistica unde am incercat sa ne organizam cat mai bine ceea ce aveam de facut mai departe. Nu am gasit joburi - pe o piata a muncii rigid reglementata, nici sprijin financiar printre businessurile locale, nu am gasit unde sa reparam cortul si nici solutii pentru geanta facuta armonica si indreptata cu ciocanul in Congo. In plus, iarna sudica isi facea deja simtita prezenta in Western Cape. Frigul, ploaia si vantul au fost doar argumente in plus ca sa ne facem bagajele. Nu inainte de a ne lua ramas bun de la James la o degustare de vinuri si branza la podgoria Fairview, Stellenbosch (una dintre cele mai renumite regiuni vinicole din Africa de Sud).

The first men who ventured into the southern seas were spellbound by the wild beauty of the peninsula: flowers, herbs, woods, elephants, hippos. Since the advent of pastoralists, the original peninsular Khoi vanished, the wild herds were wiped out and much of the endemic vegetation has been uprooted to make place for industrial and residential developments. But the city, one of the world’s few, like Rio and Hong Kong, that enjoy an exceptional geography, has kept its charm. We almost grew roots in Cape Town. For many over-landers, it represents the glorious finale of a arduous journey down. For us southern hemisphere’s most important container port meant more business than pleasure, a much needed logistic base camp to sort our stuff out. We tried to organize as best as we could our journey ahead, couldn’t get any temp jobs though, not could we find sponsors, fix our leaking tent or patch the aluminum pannier turned harmonica in the Congo. But southern winter, with rain and cold winds, was an extra incentive to suck it up and get moving. Which we did, not before enjoying with James a final wine and cheese at the Fairview Estate, one of the many Old World-like vineyards in Stellenbosch. 

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Pentru ca solul e gras si clima blanda si pentru ca legislatia permite mixarea soiurilor si tehnicilor de maturare, e foarte greu sa dai gres, fie si cu un vin de supermarket in Africa de Sud. Dupa ferma Fairview a urmat un ride impreuna catre ‘casa’ pe Bainskloof Pass, intr-un apus ca un Cabernet Sauvignon maturat.

A rich soil, a gentle climate and a permissive law, that allows mixing grape varieties and techniques means that even the cheap supermarket wines are seldom not very good in South Africa. After the gourmet hour, we took a fair well ride in the crisp sunset through Bainskloof Pass.  

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Ultimul mic dejun in Cape Town l-am luat cu Charl, care mai pastrase in maneca un as: cele mai bune oua Benedict din oras.

We took our last breakfast in Cape Town with Charl, who was keeping another ace in his sleeve: the best eggs Benedict in town.

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Cand ne cautam o camera de inchiriat in Cape Town cineva ne-a spus de Clarence Drive, drumul de coasta dintre Gordon Bay si Hermanus ca fiind mai frumos decat Chapman’s Peak. Abia acum aveam ocazia sa ne convingem de asta: apelei Indianului atat de albastre, tarmurile curbate, golf dupa golf, iar pe buza haului, soseaua, neteda, serpuita. 

When we were shopping for a shared room to rent in Cape Town, a guy had mentioned Clarence Drive as being more stunning than Chapman’s Peak. From Gordon Bay to Hermanus and up Gansbaai we finally had the chance to see that for ourselves. The Indian waters are strikingly blue, the shores gently curved into successive gulfs, while the perfectly smooth tar keeps the adrenaline pumping. 

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Din cand in cand oprim sa ascultam oceanul si sa numaram norii. Aproape in fiecare golf zarim in valurile inspumate surferi care o ard la soare. Viata e frumoasa aici! 

Now and then we stopped to listen to the ocean and count clouds. Epicurean surfers were hanging out in the frothy surf and life seemed beautiful.

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Am continuat pe R44 pana in Gansbaai, unde am tras la un fish & chips, apoi am dat asfaltul pe un drum solid de pietris care taie Parcul National Agulhas, direct catre punctul cel mai sudic al continentului African. Te-ai astepta la o geografie extrordinara intr-un astfel de reper, dar tarmul e plat si o poteca de lemn duce pana la placuta celebra.

We continued on the R44 to Gansbaai, where we lunched on fish & chips. We were bored of tarmac and running out of time, so we cut it straight to our destination, across the Agulhas National Park. One would expect a dramatic view in such a landmark spot, but the shores of Cape Agulhas are flat and a simple wooden path leads to the famous sign.

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Ajunsi in punctul catre care marsam de luni de zile am simtit o strangere de inima amestecata cu voiosie. Unde calatorul se asteapta la o scena extraordinara, tarmul e plat, modest impestritat cu flori suculente, iar valurile bat scurt si sec. 

We have been marching to this point for months, and once there, we felt joy, but also butterflies in our stomachs. Where the traveller imagines an extraordinary scene, the earth is flat, modestly dotted with juicy flowers, and the waves rhythmically pound into the indifferent shore.  

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Am bifat poza obligatorie, dar la capatul pamantului gravitatia asculta de alte reguli …

We obliged for the mandatory photo at the Cape Agulhas, but gravitation is kind of weird around here…

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Un capitol incheiat, chipuri, locuri, peripetii de care ne va fi din ce in ce mai dor. Din Capul Agulhas drumul nostru merge, macar o vreme, doar in sus, spre nord.

The end of a chapter, so many faces, places and stories that have become memories we miss. From now on, our journey will took us only north… at least for a while.

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